Why is My Face Always Red? Oh the shame of it all...
Yes. These are my Red Cheeks
If I had a dollar - no, even a nickel - for every time someone said to me, "Oh! You've been out in the sun!" or in winter weather "Oh! You've been out in the wind!" I would have a serious collection of nickels.
Maybe enough to pay to get the veins on my face treated with laser (although I've heard mixed reviews on THAT procedure, too!)! :)
But, you know what? I've never been given a cent for any of those comments that I hear over, and over, and over, and over again.
Yes, I have red cheeks. Yes, I'm totally aware of this. No, you don't have to remind me yet AGAIN.
Sometimes, I feel like I should look at the person and say, "Golly... no, I haven't been out in the sun. But I've been wondering: Have you been eating a few TWINKIES lately? Hmm???"
Ok. That wasn't very nice. But I have really tired of the comments. So, in this article I'll talk a little bit about redness on the face - possible causes, and better yet - possible treatments. If you suffer from this as I have, maybe it will help.
At very least, you'll know you're not alone!
Photo credit: Regrettably, my own cheeks - I don't dare show my whole face up close. Maybe later!
Has my face ALWAYS been this red?
No... I don't think so.
As you can see from my photos here from when I was putting poor Santa through pure and utter hell, I'm fairly fair-skinned. Interestingly, for some reason I have the blonde, straight, fine hair and sensitive skin, but my gorgeous sister got the beautiful curls. My brother's hair is a bit blonde, but not as light as mine, and neither of them react to the sun the way I do. When I was little, I was considered a tow-head. When I would go swimming, I would almost appear bald because my hair was nearly invisible when it was plastered against my head.
But, we are born the way we are, and we can either accept it or bemoan it. I did plenty of bemoaning as a child. :)
In these wonderful snippits from my childhood, it would be understandable that my face would be red. At least here, in what must have been a fit of pique since obviously I wasn't making my Christmas wishes understood.
(Images are from my own collection of my visits to Santa... poor Santa)
Who else receives insensitive comments? - I'm sure I'm not the only one...
Have you ever had anyone make an insensitive comment about you? Whether or not they were unintentional, or if they were insensitive clods or they were being intentionally nasty...
Factors That Have Probably Contributed to my Personal Issues with my Skin
You probably already know some of these...
As a young adult, I did spend a tremendous amount of time outdoors - whether is was when I was working at a Colorado Guest Ranch at about 8,500 feet above sea level in very bright and intense sunshine, or down in Antarctica where the austral summer sun is also quite bright (and evidently the Ozone layer's quite thin).
It wasn't until some years after that I would notice that within seconds of having my arm or leg exposed to the sun in the car that I'd begin feeling hot. Sure enough I was burning pretty easily.
After running a race in New Zealand once, I got a touch of heat stroke and felt my face turn almost purple. It also pretty much was the last time I ran...
Within a few years, I started hearing the comments.
(Image is my own - this is me, taken at the Geographic South Pole - circa 1984 or 1985. Posing with my old "sheep puppet" who went everywhere with me)
I Love Love LOVE ZENMED! - It is difficult for me to find anything I don't like about this product
I have to let you know what I'm doing! I made a few videos and pictures to document my experience with ZENMED's Skin Support System (this is their recommended Rosacea product). You can see the videos below.
First of all, let me just begin by telling you that I really like this particular company. I have dealt directly with them, and they have been absolutely 100% supportive, honest, and professional with me. I wasn't embarrassed to go into my own experience - they really are great folks.
Now, they make a bunch of products - but the only one I am talking about today is the Skin Support System - you are free to check out their other products as well. My own experience thus far is that this company is "quality" all the way.
And with a motto like "Creating Products with Conscience," who doesn't love that? :)
First of all - again - I share my videos with you below... the package arrived as though it were gold. It was perfectly packaged. I felt that the price was fair - and it should last for 6 - 8 weeks. What is also important to me is that it is cruelty free. And, for those who are vegan, they will be pleased to know that the products are also vegan. And another huge plus for me is that I'm not allergic to ANY of the ingredients! YAY! :) If one of you decide to try this out, PLEASE let me know what you think!
I DESPISE hearing comments about my face
It very nearly had turned me into a hermit
"Do you have rosacea?" That is probably the most common question I get asked (a short 2nd to "Have you been out in the sun?").
Some years ago, I went to a doctor and asked about this, and she was of the opinion that it was NOT rosacea, although is does look that way.
TODAY'S discussion about this condition is a little different from several years ago. There is more information online these days, and I've spent a considerable amount of time trying to narrow down what went wrong with my skin.
One thing that happens to me on a regular basis, and not just to my face, but to my arms and legs, is that when we're driving somewhere, and my side of the car happens to be in the sun, my skin burns within a few minutes. I mean, an actual sunburn from the sun coming through the windows. I can feel it, and it happens fast. I sometimes hold a tissue or piece of paper up to the window to deflect the sun, but that's not always feasible, especially if I happen to be the one driving and the sun is coming in on the driver's side. It's just one of those things...
Things had gotten to a point where I truly despised going to the store (which seems to be where most comments occur). I began doing my food shopping early in the morning so that I would not run into a lot of people. I then pretty much stayed home.
Sometimes, when accompanying my husband to yard sales (where he gets a lot of inventory for his eBay business), people at the yard sale will make comments. It's almost like they can't help themselves. I don't get it... On the hottest and sunniest days, I won't even get out of the car, because I really want to cry (or scream - which wouldn't be at all lady-like).
However, things are looking up!
So let's talk a little bit more about this
What exactly IS this embarrassing condition?
Well, it should be obvious by now that this is embarrassing to me, at least. And even though my ol' doctor was convinced I did NOT have rosacea, I remain unconvinced.
Sure, I'd like to believe that I just walk around with a lovely little blush that means I don't need to use powdered blush, but it's not the case.
After all, I do fit the criteria. I'm definitely of northern European ancestry (one of the risk factors), and as you can see I'm very fair skinned. Light colored eyes is another factor (Check that one, too!)
The National Library of Medicine describes rosacea as a chronic (meaning it's not going away) facial skin condition (at least they don't call it an illness!). They mention the inflamed blood vessels and something called "pilosebaceous units" (Yeah, I had to look up "pilosebaceous units" too...anyway, translate: you can see the veins and capillaries and stuff on my skin).
I noticed that my dad has some visible capillaries on his skin, and even though his hair doesn't appear as it did when he was younger, he is a red head. And, I distinctly recall my dad getting a horrible case of sunburn at the shore one year - he NEVER sat on the beach unless he was under an umbrella. Nonetheless, I do recall some weird yellow gooky medication that he had to put on his shoulders after he blistered one summer. (As an aside, my dad does NOT like the beach at all... He suffered on our account, because the rest of the family loved our annual Jersey Shore vacations!)
While some people get little pimples along with their condition, I don't suffer so much from that as others.
It's all so individual. It's said that somewhere between 10 and 20 MILLION people suffer from this in the US alone.
Now, here's the thing. I'm well aware that there are medications that doctors can prescribe for this.
I'm not interested in medications. Really... I just don't like them. So, for me, my quest is to find a natural solution.
Here is a series of videos that I created about my personal situation - These are all my own videos, my experiences!
Here are my very first videos about ZenMed and the products. The first video is only about 2 minutes, and you'll see how responsive the folks at ZenMed are... My 2nd video is about WHAT I received in my kit. The 3rd video is my first experience, my ZenMed Rosacea Reviews at the 2-week mark!
(As an update in November 2013, I haven't made any new videos lately, because my skin seems to have stabilized a bit - my capillaries are a little lighter; however, the darker ones are still pretty prominent and stand out more than I would like. But, my skin is MUCH softer and "calmer," and I do not react at ALL to the product. I have come to really like it.)
This is the FIRST video I made about ZenMed! When I actually received the package!
Here, I show you what I ordered, and what I received.
PROGRESS!! Here is my 2-week review! My skin is a bit smoother now. Still quite red, but improved. Have a look!
Some Typical Triggers for any Redness on the Face
At least we know what to avoid...
Deny it all you want, but there are just SOME THINGS that are known triggers for rosacea - or, if you don't want to call it that, "ruddy cheeks," "redness on face," or "sensitive flushing..."
Here are mine - and (not so) coincidentally, the experts agree:
Alcohol (it doesn't matter how little I drink - my face is ALWAYS red after drinking - and I've been cutting back considerably, so that's a good thing). In some cases, I know I have an outright allergy to certain wines - I cannot TOUCH a glass of anything made by YellowTail brand - I go BEYOND redness in my face - I go straight into raised hives.
Spicy Foods. And this is difficult, because I LOVE spicy foods. But I've been cutting back on that too...
Exercise. I'm not going to stop exercising. Sorry. However, I don't tend to exercise hard ENOUGH! :)
Sun. Within seconds, my skin turns red (not just my face either, as you you may have read above). But I'm not going to avoid sunshine either. I DO avoid high-noon types of sun, and I do wear hats. Let's not get into the sunscreen debate... I'm sensitive to almost all of them.
Wind. If I'm out in the wind for more than a few minutes, my cheeks get wind-burned. My most fun solution to that is to leave the cold and bitter north country for warmer climes in the winter. I was walking up my road during a recent cold November day. Normally, the "breeze" on my road always feels so pleasant during the summer months. But, in winter, it's just a biting, howling, bitterly cold wind, and it sucks the fun right out of my walks. Florida for the winter. It's for my health. :)
(Image is mine - clever, huh? All it took was some empty wine bottles, a waste-basket and a camera. Voila!)
Some Topical Treatments For Facial Redness
While I happen to be a bit partial to a very specific brand, in the interest of fairness and the fact that everyone's skin and needs are different, I'm adding a couple other creams/treatments in this section of the page that look promising and also receive some decent feedback. I can only compare the comments to how they might relate to me, but I chose some that I would be willing to try myself, and may do so once my particular "stash" of product runs out. I do like to use and report on different products, so if I do, I'll add my thoughts here.
Keep in mind that you will want to think about your OWN skin. For example, if your skin is prone to more acne-type of breakouts or is oily, your needs will be different from mine, because my skin gets overly dry and is very sensitive to a lot of different ingredients - even the most "natural" ones.
I haven't tried this particular Eucerin product. I HAVE used Eucerin creams in the past for other purposes, and it is typically a very thick formulation and indeed has been soothing on my skin after sunburn. But again, I haven't used the Redness Relief Night CrÃ¨me. Since Eucerin is a trusted brand name, I can't see where it would hurt to give it a try, especially since the price is right and a relatively inexpensive one to try. I'd like to know if you do try it, and what you think.
By all accounts, this one is NON-GREASY, which is a HUGE factor for me. My pores clog up the second you even look at them, so this one would be one to consider if this is a factor for you. It contains a number of ingredients that I like, such as arnica, comfrey, and aloe - and it does look like just a "little dab will do ya."
There aren't a ton of reviews on this yet; however, other than one nay-sayer who gave it only 1 star says the bottle was open and the cream was spilled. Hardly a reason (in my opinion) to completely diss a product, but there's one in every bunch. Wasn't even a verified purchase. Others are indicating that it seems to be helping. Might be worth a shot.
Here's an ABC News segment about Rosacea
Again, I'm not really into standard medication to treat stuff - but Dr. Day also does talk about the OCCULAR (eye) form of rosacea - and this might be an exception to my "prescription medication" aversion... If it hit my eyes, I'd probably get right to the eye doctor in that case - and if that were the case, I'd definitely suggest that you do as well... Anyway, here is a standard medical overview of this condition...
A bit about my status as an affiliate (Affiliate Disclosure)
Hi folks! I, Kathy Tremblay (yes, that would be ME) earn affiliate commissions when someone makes a purchase through one of my links. Thank you so much for reading and visiting my pages. And thank you, also, if you should decide to make a purchase as a result of what I've put out there for you! :)
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